It’s critical to understand the most significant state and federal laws that govern your rights and duties as a renter. Knowing these laws will help you be a better and more educated tenant. This will help you have a better experience and avoid future problems with your landlord. The following are some of the most critical laws you should be aware of as a renter:
- Warranty of Habitability. While implied warranty of habitability laws vary by state, they are all state laws aimed to ensure that your rental unit is habitable. In most states, this means that the rental property fulfills certain minimum requirements for things like heat, water, and electricity.
- Choosing a Tenant. Landlords have the right under state and federal law to choose their tenants. However, the laws require landlords to make decisions based on a tenant’s creditworthiness, income, or previous history. They are not allowed to reject rent to someone because of their skin color, religion, sexual orientation, family status, or disability.
- Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act bans landlords from discriminating against tenants based on protected characteristics like race, religion, gender, national origin, or handicap. This 1968 statute allows renters who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of one or more of these characteristics to file a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), regardless of which state they reside in.
- Limiting the Number of Children. A landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant based on the number of children the tenant has, according to the Fair Housing Act. A landlord is also prohibited from prohibiting children from using outside or shared places, according to the statute.
- Service Animals. Service animals qualify as a reasonable accommodation under federal law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, therefore landlords may not simply prohibit them. Additionally, they cannot charge an additional pet fee or increase the rent due to the presence of a service animal. Landlords, on the other hand, can demand that a service animal be vaccinated, licensed, and registered in accordance with all applicable state and municipal laws.
- Discriminatory Advertising. The federal Fair Housing Act, administered by HUD, also prohibits landlords from discriminating in the advertising of rental properties. Discriminatory advertising includes, for example, placing an advertisement declaring that the landlord will not rent to single adults, persons of a certain age, or people who use wheelchairs.
- Security Deposits. There are rules that govern how a property manager in Fort Worth must handle your security deposit. In most situations, the law allows a landlord to collect and store your deposit, which they can later use to perform repairs if you are careless and cause damage while living there. The amount a landlord can demand for a security deposit is regulated by federal law as well as state law.
- Illegal Lockouts. While there is no federal legislation that renders locking out a tenant illegal, every state has laws that describe the legal eviction process and make locking out a tenant an illegal conduct. Eviction is a legal process that must be followed precisely or the landlord risks a court ruling in favor of the tenant.
If you’re looking for a Fort Worth rental home and property manager who knows and will follow all tenant-landlord laws in Texas, Real Property Management Trailhead is who you can rely on. Browse our listings online to find your next rental home!
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.